Stop the World - I Want to Get Off

Stop the World –
I Want to Get Off
London Cast Recording
Music Leslie Bricusse
Anthony Newley
Lyrics Leslie Bricusse
Anthony Newley
Book Leslie Bricusse
Anthony Newley
Productions 1961 West End
1962 Broadway
1966 Film
1978 Broadway revival

Stop the World – I Want to Get Off is a musical with a book, music, and lyrics by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley.

Set against the backdrop of a circus, it focuses on Littlechap, whose first major step towards improving his lot is to marry Evie, his boss's daughter, after getting her pregnant out of wedlock. Saddled with the responsibilities of a family, he allows his growing dissatisfaction with his existence to lead him into the arms of various women—Russian Anya, German Ilse, and American Ginnie—as he searches for something better than he has, only to realize in the twilight of his life what he always had—the love of his wife— was more than enough to sustain him.

According to Oscar Levant, the play's title was derived from a graffito.[1]

Production history

The West End production, directed by Newley, opened on 20 July 1961 at the Queen's Theatre, where it ran for 485 performances. Newley starred as Littlechap, with Anna Quayle playing the multiple roles of Evie and the other women in his life. Marti Webb was a member of the chorus. An original cast recording was released by Decca Records[2]

Producer David Merrick, always impressed by a low-cost project requiring minimal sets, costumes, and a small cast, decided to stage the show in New York City. It was directed by Newley, and featured scenery and lighting design by Sean Kenny, musical supervision by Ian Fraser, musical direction by Milton Rosenstock, orchestrations by Ian Fraser. After one preview, the Broadway production opened on 3 October 1962 at the Shubert Theatre, eventually transferring to the Ambassador to complete its 555-performance run. Newley and Quayle reprised their London roles. Newley later was replaced by Kenneth Nelson, then Joel Grey, and Joan Eastman assumed the roles of Evie et al. A Broadway cast recording was released by Polydor.[3] On the national company tour, the show starred Grey and Julie Newmar.

A Broadway revival directed by Mel Shapiro opened on 3 August 1978 at the New York State Theater in Lincoln Center, where it ran for 30 performances. The cast included Sammy Davis, Jr. and Marian Mercer. A revival cast recording was released by Warner Bros. Records [4]

Film adaptation

A 1966 Warner Bros. release was little more than a filmed version of a staged production. Directed by Philip Saville, it featured additional material by Alan and Marilyn Bergman, David Donable, and Al Ham. The cast included Tony Tanner and Millicent Martin. Neither a critical nor commercial success, it was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Adapted Music Scoring.

Sammy Davis, Jr. and Marian Mercer reprised their Broadway revival roles for Sammy Stops the World, a 1978 television adaptation [5]


Awards and nominations

Original Broadway production

Year Award Category Nominee Result
1963 Tony Award Best Musical Nominated
Best Author Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley Nominated
Best Composer and Lyricist Nominated
Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical Anthony Newley Nominated
Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical Anna Quayle Won


External links

  • Internet Movie Database listing
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